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TikTok Users Step up To Create Solution for People With Parkinson’s

TikTok Creates pill bottle for people with Parkinson's
(TikTok/jcfoxninja, hungryengineer)

The internet is a wildcard. You never know if logging on for the day will lead you down a series of absurd rabbit holes, or if you’ll stumble upon something that makes you wish the internet never existed. But often, the vastness of the internet unites people in the best possible way, leading to extraordinarily positive outcomes that may have otherwise never occurred.

Jimmy Choi is a 37-year-old who has appeared on four seasons of American Ninja Warrior, completed over 100 half marathons and 16 full marathons, and accomplished countless other fitness-related achievements. Jimmy Choi also suffers from Parkinson’s, a diagnosis he received at just 27 years old.

@jcfoxninjaReply to @user3725202689134 Parkinson’s is only diagnosed in old people?!? Nah…. #parkinsons #awareness #didyouknow♬ Steven Universe – L.Dre

Choi is an inspiration to those suffering from chronic health issues, demonstrating that a diagnosis doesn’t mean you have to stop doing what you love. Choi is also extremely vocal about the struggles that come with Parkinson’s, raising awareness and showing others in the same position that they aren’t alone. In a recent TikTok, Choi expresses frustration about something that most of us would never consider – pill bottles.

The TikTok community watched the accomplished athlete struggle to pick his essential (and absurdly tiny) medication, a feat which proved extremely difficult for a person with the very disease the medication aims to help.

Almost instantaneously, word spread about Choi’s unintentional call to arms – before long, a designer named Brian Alldridge developed a brilliant solution to the tiny pill problem. Sadly, he didn’t have a 3D printer to create a prototype. Determined to help, Alldridge made the design public so anyone with access to a 3D printer could use the design for free.

David Exler, a.k.a. “the Hungry Engineer,” picked up where Alldridge left off and turned the design into a reality. The prototype was a success, and Exler is willing to ship his product to anyone in need in exchange for a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation.

@hungryengineerv5 is printing now! ##3dprinting ##parkinson ##parkinsons ##diy ##pillbottle ##pepsiapplepiechallenge @brianalldridge♬ FEEL THE GROOVE – Queens Road, Fabian Graetz

“It really is truly amazing to see how the community jumped in,” Choi told CBC. “Folks that have no connection to Parkinson’s decided, ‘Hey, you know what? I have an idea. And here’s the idea.’ And then other folks jump in and say, ‘Hey, I love your idea. I can help you with that,’ and next thing you know, we’ve got a prototype within days.”

Alldridge is working on finding a manufacturer to mass-produce his design but is determined to ensure all proceeds go to non-profits. He worked with an attorney to ensure his design remains open-source, meaning that anyone able and willing to use or improve upon his design is welcome to do so.

“There’s a lot of negativity out there, especially in the last several months,” Choi told Off. “But people need to see the positive side that social media can be used for good things and for things that are helping and making an impact, not just on one person, two people… we’re talking thousands of people that this will have an impact on.”

Girl Scout’s Adorable Doorbell Cam Cookie Pitch Makes Her a Sales Tycoon

Girl Scout Door Bell Cam Pitch
(Facebook/KristenShoyer)

It’s Girl Scout Cookie season again, which means a flock of primary school students will be turned into the country’s largest door-to-door sales staff. This is also the time of year where everyone you’ve ever worked with who has a daughter will begin messaging you to ask how many boxes you’re going to buy. But during these “unprecedented times” Girl Scouts are forced to get more creative, which has led to some standouts.

A first-grader from Arizona has gone viral for her downright adorable cookie pitch, which was captured on a neighbor’s doorbell camera. Allie Shroyer is a first-grader at a school in Scottsdale and her pitch game is ON-POINT.

Straight from the shoot, with her adorable opening of “Hi, I’m Allie, would you like to buy some Girl Scout Cookies?” to the “Would you like one, or two, or three or…” up to 12, she knows the game (some people want cookies by the dozen boxes!).

“What’s your favorite color? Because the boxes are colors and maybe you can get a box in that color” is a great twist to throw in, you hit them with something they aren’t expecting and that’s how you move 12 boxes.

She’s like an adorable Gordon Gecko, and her sales tactics are a hit. The neighbor shared the video with the girl’s mom, who put it on Facebook. And it’s blown up, as Allie sold 200 boxes on the first day.

Her mom told People she knew Allie couldn’t do the traditional door-to-door pitch because of Covid, so she could try to do it through the doorbell camera.

Since her video went viral, Allie has become a super salesman, with sales totaling nearly 2,000 boxes. Of course, you probably have a million ways to get the delicious cookies this spring (they really shouldn’t be seasonal, we need them year-round), you can always buy from Allie online.

Hear Ye, Hear Ye! These Are the 9 Best Headphones for Gaming and Music

gaming headphones
(Getty/PatriciaEnciso)

Sound is everything when it comes to playing video games, and you’re going to need a good pair of gaming headphones.  Whether you’re immersing yourself in a single-player adventure or calling out enemy locations during those white-knuckle online matches with your friends, having the right headphones can be crucial to a great experience.  They also need to be comfortable for listening to music, watching movies, or those marathon game sessions you try to fit in between all of those other obligations that fill up your day-to-day routine.

The headphones listed here are reasonably priced, and are some of the best-selling and best-reviewed you can find.  Most of the models can also be used on any game console as well, so no matter your preference, you really can’t go wrong with any of these picks.

Best Open Back Headphones for Gaming

Razer Kraken Gaming Headset, $80

Since 2005, Razer has been the leading manufacturer in gaming peripherals, and their Razer Kraken Gaming Headset is a great example for why that still stands true.  With a lightweight aluminum frame, cooling gel cushions, and 6 different colors to choose from, this is a great addition to any game set-up.

SteelSeries Arctis 3 All-Platform Gaming Headphones, $64

Widely recognized as the best mic in gaming, the SteelSeries Arctis 3 features a retractable microphone that delivers studio-quality voice clarity and background noise cancellation.  Even volume adjustments are as easy as tapping the ear cup.  This headset is available in both wired and wireless models, depending on your preference.

Best Gaming Headphones for PS4

HyperX Cloud II Gaming Headset, $80 (21% off right now)

With supreme audio quality and 7.1 surround sound capabilities, the HyperX Cloud II will immerse you completely in whatever you’re playing.  This headset also features a detachable microphone and memory foam ear pads that are interchangeable between leatherette and velour ear cushions for the style and comfort that suits you.

Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X Headphones, $25

The Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 50X is one of the top-selling PS4 headsets and is a real mouthful to say out loud.  This headset comes in 3 different colors and features quality 40mm speakers and a high-sensitivity adjustable boom mic for crystal clear in-game and online chat.

Best Headphones for Xbox One

RUNMUS Gaming Headset, $26 (40% off right now)

The RUNMUS Gaming Headset provides excellent quality and value.  The 7.1 surround sound capabilities are great and the ergonomic design and adjustable band make sure this headset will fit on anyone comfortably.  With over 64,000 reviews on Amazon and holding a 4.5/5 star rating, this one’s a worthwhile purchase for any gamer.

PDP Level 50 Wireless Gaming Headset, $80

Officially licensed by Microsoft, the PDP Level 50 Wireless Gaming Headset is a perfect fit for the Xbox One.  It comes with a rechargeable 16 hour battery and a wireless range of 40 feet.  This means your teammates will have no idea you’re actually in the kitchen grabbing a snack.

Best Headphones for Nintendo Switch

Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset, $40

Designed for the Nintendo Switch, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 provides excellent sound quality with its 40mm speakers and over-ear premium synthetic leather cushions.  This means your ears will be comfortable for hours and you’ll be able to hear all those crucial in-game sound effects like your enemies’ footsteps.

PDP LVL40 Wired Stereo Gaming Headset, $30

Officially licensed by Nintendo, these light-weight and breathable headphones aren’t as invasive as other models.  With on-ear volume control and a mic that can be muted simply by flipping it up, they’re easy for kids to use and perfect for on-the-go gaming or when you’re just chilling and playing Switch in bed.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

TikTok Filter Allows Users to Create Photos With Lost Loved Ones

TikTok Filter Allows Users to Create Photos with People They've Lost
(TikTok/lexscameraroll)

TikTok is typically the home of viral dances and hilarious videos, but a recent filter has given users of the video-based social media site an unexpectedly meaningful tool. It’s no secret that TikTok users are astoundingly creative with the tools at their disposal, but even the brains behind the “Green Screen Scan” effect were shocked by how users utilized it in a way that was both powerful and cathartic.

The effect allows users to upload a photo and then “flatten” themselves, making it look as if they’re superimposed in the existing photo. As expected, many videos featured the tool as a way to play pranks on family members, convincing them they were places they most definitely weren’t supposed to be. Other users, however, realized that the tool gave them a way to do something that was previously impossible – create brand new photos with loved ones who were no longer alive.

One TikTok user, Alexis Puckett, tragically lost her dad to esophageal cancer in 2018. In a video that’s been viewed over 7.6 million times, Alexis demonstrates the power of the green screen scan tool.

The video begins with Alexis looking slightly baffled. The on-screen text says, “You’re telling me I can still take pics with my dad??”

Using the scan effect, Alexis changes the background of the video to an old photo of her dad. She smiles at the camera as the filter does its job – scanning from top to bottom, it freezes Alexis seamlessly into the photo. Years after his death, incredibly, Alexis now has a brand new photo to cherish.

@lexscamerarolloh yea this one hurt ##fyp ##lgbt♬ original sound – Sad audios

“That just broke me,” commented one user. Others filled the comments section with both sadness and excitement, thinking about all the ways they themselves wanted to use the filter.

Word quickly spread, and TikTok was flooded with videos of users creating photos with their late parents, grandparents, friends, and everything in between.

“STOP this hurted,” another user named Sara Rogers captioned her heartbreaking video, one that she created after tragically losing her mom in a car accident last year.

@saramargsSTOP this hurted.♬ original sound – Sad audios

“I made another [TikTok] before I made this one that I ended up posting and I immediately bawled my eyes out as you can probably tell by my red face,” Rogers told Buzzfeed News. “It looked way too realistic and was very sentimental to me.”

Hero Dog Named Captain America Wakes Family When House Catches Fire

Dog named Captain America wakes family during fire
(YouTube/KENS 5: Your San Antonio News Source)

It almost feels like dogs are just waiting around for a chance to become the heroes of any potentially disastrous situation. From daring rescues to risking it all to protect the people they love, dogs are far more than just the adorable goofballs who occasionally eat an entire loaf of bread that was left within their reach.

Captain America was adopted from the San Antonio Humane Society three years ago, and the lab-mix recently lived up to his name in a way nobody could have anticipated. One evening in mid-January while Captain America’s family slept, the watchful hero realized something wasn’t right. The same nose that wakes him from the deepest sleep as soon as he smells food alerted him to something more sinister – smoke.

“We were sleeping and first thing I heard was our dog Captain America started to bark,” Eric Greene told KHOU.

Captain America’s human rose groggily from bed, likely assuming the dog had to make a 2AM bathroom run. Upon arriving downstairs, Greene made a startling discovery.

“I came down stairs and saw smoke and fire coming from the back deck of our house,” he recalled.

Greene rushed to alert his wife and three sons of the fire, all of whom made it out of the house safely thanks to Captain America. The Helotes Fire Department arrived on the scene and extinguished the flames, while neighbors offered the family support.

The Greene family home sustained significant damage, but thankfully, the family of five is unharmed. As for Captain America, well, the Very Good Boy will receive rewards for his life-saving efforts in the form of plenty of extra pets and treats. Meanwhile, the rest of us eagerly await an all-dog reboot of The Avengers.

Take a Moment To Appreciate a Rare Volcanic Rock That Looks Like Cookie Monster

Cookie Monster Rock
(Twitter/ImoveCar)

Some things in life are fun and that’s it. It doesn’t change the world, or totally shift the national conversation, or have any effect on your life at all. It’s just cool. Case in point: a rare volcanic rock found by a gemologist that looks just like Cookie Monster.

The rock was found in the Rio Grande do Sul region (no, YOU don’t know where that is) of Brazil last fall. The current owner said he’s received multiple offers for the rock, including some in the tens of thousands. Some speculate the rock could be worth north of $100,000.

But we know better, that rock is truly priceless. Even Cookie Monster himself took some time from his busy day on Sesame Street to acknowledge the uncanny resemblance.

It’s his most viral tweet ever, and it came a few days after the first tweet went pretty viral. That’s how much we need news like this now, a straight-up palate cleanser. Something where you can look at it, say “hey, that’s kinda neat” and feel a little bit better about the world for five minutes.

As far as Muppets in nature go, this takes the cookie. Not even Beaker on Mars comes close.

Someone needs to feed that rock ASAP, or they will soon have a situation on their hands.

Wanna Join ‘The Family’? Watch These 15 Mafia Movies First

Best Mafia Movies: 'Goodfellas'
(Warner Bros.)

Here we are, entering month 763 of life during the coronavirus pandemic. We’ve binge-watched everything in our Netflix queue, eaten all of the quarantine snacks, reached #ExpertLevel at forming our beard hair into funny clusters. And now we’re bored again. So very bored. Not only do we need something to help pass the time, but we also need something that’ll get our adrenaline going and make us feel like we haven’t entirely lost our edge. Enter, the best mafia movies.

While we often think of the mafia as something from movies, it’s based on a dark reality. The American Mafia originated in the late 19th century as an offshoot of the actual Italian — more specifically Sicilian — Mafia. As poor, struggling Italian immigrants grappled with the harsh reality of life in the United States, they looked for ways to survive. They banded together and took up the same past they’d left behind in Italy. Together as a unit (or “family,” though that doesn’t mean they’re blood relatives), the newly formed Italian-American Mafia took steps toward thriving in their new environment. Granted, those steps were often illegal and deadly. Even so, their movement quickly spread throughout other large cities across America. The hitch? The Mafia’s criminal behavior quickly led to finding itself in an “us vs. them” situation, with nearly everyone on the wrong side of the fight… at least according to the Mafia.

If this all sounds pretty fascinating to you, well, say hello to our little list of the best mafia movies of all time. Over the years, the genre has generally come to include movies based on the Mafia, the more broad-reaching “mob” life, and the grittier gangster culture. We’ve included a little bit of everything, so consider reading it and binge-watching these cult classics an offer you can’t refuse.

Best Mafia Movies

1. Road to Perdition (2002)

Starring: Daniel Craig, Tom Hanks, Paul Newman

Set during the Great Depression, the film follows two men as they set out to seek revenge for the mob murder of their family.

2. The Godfather (1972) & The Godfather: Part II (1974)

Starring: Marlon Brando, James Caan, Diane Keaton, Al Pacino

Follow the Corleone family and their associates as they do shady and dangerous family business. Take note: GII is quite possibly one of the few sequels that holds up to its predecessor.

3. Get Shorty (1995)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, John Travolta, Danny DeVito

What’s life like when a mob henchman decides to pursue his Hollywood dreams? Well, it’s a little funny…

4. Goodfellas (1990)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci

Based on the book Wiseguy, this mob movie classic follows the life and misadventures of one lifelong mafia man.

5. Scarface (1983) 

Starring: Al Pacino, Michelle Pfeiffer

Yet another chance to see Al Pacino do what he does best. This time, he works in the drug trade in Miami and has a nasty cocaine addiction. Can he survive as the government and Colombian cartels close in on him?

6. American Gangster (2007)

Starring: Josh Brolin, Russell Crowe, RZA, Denzel Washington

A semi-autobiographical look at Harlem drug lord Frank Lucas, American Gangster is a supremely well-acted story. The film wasn’t for everyone, but it’s definitely worth seeing for yourself.

7. Public Enemies (2009)

Starring: Christian Bale, Marion Cotillard, Billy Crudup, Johnny Depp

Listen. It’s a great film. And you can probably get your partner to watch it with you if you tell ’em Johnny Depp is in it. Bonus: He’s not even wearing guyliner.

8. Pulp Fiction (1994) 

Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, Quentin Tarantino, Uma Thurman, John Travolta

You’ve probably seen this at least half a dozen times, but it’s always worth seeing again. It’s the best Tarantino movie. Don’t @ us, bro — we said what we said.

9. The Irishman (2019)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano, Bobby Cannavale, Anna Paquin

This time, our mafia deep-dive takes us to the coal-rich state of Pennsylvania and brushes up with the infamous teamster Jimmy Hoffa.

10. Analyze This (1999)

Starring: Billy Crystal, Robert De Niro, Lisa Kudrow

You think De Niro ever gets sick of playing mobsters? Eh, who cares? We’ll never get sick of seeing him in that role.

11. Bugsy (1991)

Starring: Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, Harvey Keitel, Ben Kingsley, Elliott Gould

This biographical film follows real mobster Bugsy Siegel as he makes his way from New York to Hollywood and then helps build the Las Vegas strip. It’s old-timey and, honestly, pretty riveting.

12. The Freshman (1990)

Starring: Marlon Brando, Matthew Broderick

A film student takes a job working for a New York mob boss. Crime, of course, ensues.

13. Eastern Promises (2007)

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Naomi Watts

If you remember this movie at all, it’s probably because of the incredibly violent and completely naked fight scene. This one branches out a little bit and tells a story involving a Russian mob-run child sex trafficking ring.

14. The Departed (2006)

Starring: Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jack Nicholson, Mark Wahlberg, Martin Sheen, Vera Farmiga

Boston accents! (Why else would a Wahlberg be in it?) This Irish Mob-focused film plays a bit of cat-and-mouse between a mole and an undercover cop.

15. Donnie Brasco (1997)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Al Pacino

Yeah, it’s Johnny Depp again, in all his pre-Tim Burton resplendence. This one follows an FBI agent who works his way into the Mafia and finds out that his personality and moral compass might be better suited to such a life.

Nintendo Is Celebrating Animal Crossing New Horizons’ One Year Anniversary

(Nintendo)

Animal Crossing: New Horizons continues its reign as one of the best-selling Switch games, and it looks like Nintendo is extremely aware of that.  They aren’t going to let the hype train slow down any time soon.  On March 20th, New Horizons will celebrate it’s one year anniversary and there are tons of new editions just over the “horizon” to check out.  We’ve got new updates, controllers, and villagers (to either shower with gifts or bonk on the head with our nets) to look forward to, so let’s take a look.

Hello Kitty Sanrio Collaboration Pack

The crossover of the century is here.  Yes, we will be getting Hello Kitty themed items… as long as you can purchase the pack of Amiibo cards they come from.  Each pack of cards from the ‘Sanrio Collaboration Pack’ comes with new items and cute little villagers that aren’t currently available in New Horizons.  You can’t pre-order them yet, but they’re going to be available on March 26th, 2021 and will be a Target exclusive.  Personally, I’m more excited for the Mario-themed items coming in the March update, but my wife has already threatened me that if I don’t get at least one of these new Amiibo, she will sell my PS5.

Isabelle & Tom Nook Controllers

(Nintendo)

These new Isabelle and Tom Nook controllers that are officially licensed by Nintendo look awesome.  The colors pop and they’d be a great addition to anyone’s Switch set-up.  They’re available for pre-order right now on Amazon and have a release date of February 14th, 2021.  This Valentine’s Day, forget about buying flowers and make the right choice.  This will win your loved ones over forever.

(Nintendo)

You can pre-order the Isabelle Controller here and the Tom Nook Controller here for $25.

Free Updates

Nintendo will also continue to pump out free updates for Animal Crossing: New Horizons.  They’re nothing fancy (except Halloween, I loved that one) but it is always nice to see new things to do coming out on a regular basis.  Nintendo has even mentioned that they plan on supporting the game with free updates for the next three years.  You can check out the next update in the trailer down below which arrives on January 28th.  This will bring Pave, the Festivale and some sick new dance moves to your repertoire of emotes.

Are you still in love with Animal Crossing: New Horizons?  It was one of my family’s favorite games last year and my wife and I still try to play every day.  I’m almost finished donating all the critters to my museum.  I don’t think I’ll ever finish my art exhibit though.  That seems like a lost cause since Redd never wants to show up.

Just a heads up, if you buy stuff using the provided links, The Dad may collect a small commission.

Pedro Pascal Teases New Timeline, Crossovers for Mando Season Three

Pedro Teases Mandalorian S3 Details
(Disney+)

After a fantastic second season that culminated in a mind-blowing finale, fans are dying to learn what’s next for The Mandalorian. Not only did the season end with some major changes that could forever alter the show, but the post-credits stinger scene also confused fans by introducing a new story about Boba Fett.

It has since been clarified that The Book of Boba Fett is a standalone spin-off show and that The Mandalorian will be back for a third season. What we don’t yet know is what the third season will be like, now that the driving storyline of the first two installments was seemingly resolved.

With all the new Star Wars shows coming down the pike for Disney+, it might be a while before we see Mando again, and if recent comments by Pedro Pascal are accurate, some time may pass for the character as well…

Pascal gave an interview to IndieWire in which he discussed his monumental 2020, which not only featured The Mandalorian but also a role in Robert Rodriguez’s Netflix movie We Can Be Heroes, and a villainous turn in Wonder Woman 1984.

During the interview, the actor dropped a few hints about the future of his Star Wars show, which may include shifting timelines and cross-overs into other worlds.

“I am told what’s happening and what the plan is,” said Pascal, “but I can’t share it. They are in the expansion of this world, where there are so many unexpected surprises and timelines that are going to be dealt with. If the character were to cross over into these worlds, it will be utilized in a way that isn’t meant to be expected. I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise of whether or not characters from the show we already know are crossing over.”

There’s both a lot of info in there and very little. It definitely makes sense that after season two, The Mandalorian will stretch its wings a bit and broaden the scope of his adventures. Exactly how “crossing over” into different worlds will work is yet to be seen, but Pascal seems hesitant to say much more.

One of the main storylines fans are hoping to see is the battle for Mandalore, which includes Mando’s ownership of the dark saber, putting him at odds with Bo-Katan. Not sure how his comments line up with that, which seems like a more expected continuation of the series. There definitely seems to be hinting at something less conventional.

Hopefully, we’ll learn more soon, as Disney+ moves forward with its plans. Until then, may the force be with you.

I mean, this is the way.